Ouachita Baptist University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.
The recent honor by the Corporation for National and Community Service is “another recognition of Ouachita’s commitment to service,” noted Ian Cosh, Ouachita’s assistant to president for community development and director of the Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community. “This award allows us to measure ourselves against a national benchmark.”
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
The national recognition “speaks of service at Ouachita across the board,” Cosh pointed out. He said Ouachita’s community service efforts range from Tiger Serve Day, TranServe and disaster relief to America Reads, America Counts, ElderServe and volunteer mission projects.
Cosh said more than 1,300 Ouachita students have been involved in various types of community service during the past year, including more than 370 who have logged at least 20 hours of community service per semester.
Noting that the launch of Ouachita’s Elrod Center more than a decade ago has helped “change the culture at Ouachita by intentionally highlighting community service,” Cosh said, “When students discover the joy of service, you know that we really have achieved the ideal.”
Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering by college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to a 2007 Volunteering in America study.
“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “We salute Ouachita Baptist University for making community service a campus priority.”
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
by OBU News Bureau